Our central conviction at Walnut Grove Baptist Church is this — God loves people! Jesus did not die on the cross for the church. It was the love of people that led to Jesus’ death on the cross. WGBC seeks to build a church community that is rooted in the love of God as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. We are a group of individuals who have chosen to be in community together as we seek practical and spiritual solutions to our life struggles. We strive to create an environment where people can move towards the healing of division and brokenness in their lives and ultimately towards wholeness. Our goal is to be a supportive and nurturing community where people can develop real and authentic relationships that lead to deeper relationships with God and others.
One of Jesus’ teachings deals with the stress and worry we all face regarding the daily concerns of life. In this teaching Jesus makes the statement:
“Seek first God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
In essence what Jesus is saying is that if you decide for God and live a life of God-worship, you will find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing now and God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up.
WGBC’s first priority is helping people to have a passion for God and to live out that passion in their everyday lives. Through our worship and discipleship ministries we strive to help people develop a more authentic spirituality through a deepening of their understanding of God. We are a church community committed to developing passionate followers of Jesus Christ who live their daily lives in an attitude of worship.
Integrity simply means there is a unity between what we say and what we do. To use a colloquialism, integrity means “walking your talk”. As followers of Christ we endeavor to live our lives in light of the God-centered reality envisioned in the Scriptures. Our belief in Christ involves more than just a verbal or intellectual assent to the truth of the Christian faith. It is a new way of being and living in the world. Jesus tells us that a true disciple will function in the world as salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16). That is, we will live our lives in such a way that prompts other people to open up their lives to God. True spirituality is a lifestyle and we strive to live out our spirituality in everyday life.
Jesus challenged his followers to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). Discipleship is not a one time event but a process through which a person discovers how to live on a higher spiritual plane. The discipleship process is about being transformed to another pattern of meaning (Romans 12:2) and it implies a whole new way of believing and living.
Being a disciple is more than just making a decision to follow Christ. It is a decision to enter into an intentional and deliberate process of spiritual formation. The WGBC community is committed to the disciple making process. We are here not only to lead people into a relationship with Christ, but to help them grow into quality disciples of Christ.
Towards the end of his ministry, Jesus made the statement that he had come into this world to serve, not to be served (Matthew 20:28). Jesus made this statement knowing that in the near future his service to others would cost him his life. The
nature of the church community is service to others regardless of the cost. WGBC is an intentional serving community committed to meeting the needs of others. We recognize the high value God has placed on each individual and the way we serve is a reflection
of our respect for each individual. We recognize that love can only be fully expressed through service to others. Our focus is not on how we can be served, but how we can serve others.
Mission is the essence of the church and flows out of the great commandments:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)
Missions are about being involved in the world in a way that attempts to redress the imbalances in our world. It is recognizing the brokenness and injustice in the world and proclaiming the hope of a new reality both in word and deed as reflected in the gospel message. Our motivation for mission flows out of our compassion for others and our desire to actually see the kingdom of God become a reality in the world today.
WGBC believes that compassion for others is not true compassion until each person becomes personally engaged in the mission cause. Our mission efforts are based on the biblical mandate to provide advocacy, relationships, and resources to the community and world for the purpose of restoring humanity to a God-centered reality. We will be actively engaged in our world in an effort to make a tangible difference.